I’ve been wanting to think about and then write about “To Thine Own Self Be True,” as it is used in AA and of course as it is used by me in my program. But I forget to think about it. Likewise I come to write here and I remember that I am supposed to be thinking about “practicing these principles in all our affairs.” And then I go on with my day and my night and I forget to think of these things.
They are, of course, a bit ingrained at this point, and I thank goodness for that. I don’t have to walk around mindfully having to work the program, stay away from a drink, and generally not go nuts.
At times the pressure is on. Someone I’m worried about (with reason, unfortunately) isn’t home yet, isn’t answering the phone, is maybe in bad trouble. Someone I have to spend lots of time with is worried, and worrying, and negative, and expressing it. There are a thousand triggers an hour to remind me of people and animals who have passed away, sometimes after a full, long life, and sometimes not. Either way they are not here, and I find it hard to believe I have lived this long without them, and I wonder what it will be like to join them, and when my time will come. Even the living, breathing, well people and animals who are in my world today must face the day that everything isn’t, finally, all right.
I am so full of gratitude. When my mother shared with Carole some of my scarier drunken moments, she reminded me that my father died from this at the age of 33. I do not think I would have made it that long, had I continued drinking. I am now 26 years past that point of no return, and everyone a year I didn’t deserve and shouldn’t rightfully have had.
The holidays are not like when I was a kid. As an only child, I spent holidays with my mother’s and father’s families of origin, and when I was born until I was probably more than ten years old, all of their parents and siblings stayed put, and nearby, and the group that shared my early holidays was a very big one, looking back. I miss the actual people who are gone or who I have left back there, plus I miss the bigness of it. As an only child I have always wanted a big family. The father of my children is also an only child, and that doesn’t help at all, and Carole has only one sibling, and that sibling has only one child. Small.
I know that all I’ve written here seems negative and in a way it is negative, but those aren’t the thoughts that dominate my mind and spirit. I am very aware of how lucky I am to have the family that I have, and for the way that they all are, right this instant. I’m extremely blessed in my job and my neighborhood and my meetings and my country and my government. And I’m very pleased with the way the holidays fall this year. Tomorrow will be my last day at work for the week, and that will be followed by another week. My Saturday meeting will take place on Christmas and on New Year’s Day, which I think will be very special.
And so now I will go forward into my life and try harder not to forget what it is I am to remember: To Thine Own Self Be True, and to practice these principles in all my affairs.